Resistance through Persistence in Reclamation City: Examining African American Homeowner Resiliency amidst the Unrelenting Gentrification Movement

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Advisor: Ricardo Garcia


This research study delves into the lived experiences of African-American homeowners in Reclamation City, a metropolis undergoing substantial revitalization and housing transformation over the past 25 years. The primary objectives of this study encompass understanding the driving factors motivating Black homeowners to invest in residential properties in the city, uncovering the influences that encourage their steadfast commitment to homeownership, and examining the formidable challenges and obstacles they encounter amidst rising property costs, housing market fluctuations, and the encroachment of gentrification. Additionally, this research explores the implications of dwindling residential inventory, the effects of gentrification on Black homeowners, and the prospects for generational wealth-building among African American offspring in this evolving urban landscape. Furthermore, this study captures Black homeowners' personal impressions, reflections, and sentiments regarding tangible and intangible changes within their neighborhoods and the city. It also presents innovative strategies to curb the outmigration of Black homeowners from Reclamation City. It recommends critical initiatives to attract new Black homeowners while retaining those who resist the urge to sell their homes and depart. The foundation of this research lies in a comprehensive examination of the Black experience in America, historical factors, and enduring practices that have hindered African Americans' social, economic, and political progress. It incorporates personal narratives from Black homeowners and insights from African American financial services professionals, complemented by a review of pertinent literature. This dissertation introduces the concept of "Black resiliency" as a central framework for understanding how African American homeowners navigate the challenges posed by gentrification. Employing a qualitative participatory action research approach, this study scrutinizes gentrification's multifaceted impacts and implications on Reclamation City's rich Black history, culture, and ethos. Guided by a series of research questions, including the pivotal role of "Black resiliency" in motivating homeowners to persist in Reclamation City, the influence of gentrification on Black homeowners' resilience, and the consequences of gentrification on the city's cultural fabric, this research asserts that Black resiliency remains instrumental in sustaining African American homeownership in a historically Black urban environment undergoing demographic shifts and increased property values. To ensure ethical standards, pseudonyms have been employed throughout this study to safeguard the identities of individuals, locations, and events that contributed to this research, with any resemblance to real-life entities being purely coincidental.


Gentrification, Urban Renewal, Black Homeownership, Black Homebuyers, Black Resiliency

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